Introduction to Noh Lessons


Hajime Sano-sensei, noh master, while choreographing David Crandall’s The Linden Tree, 1986. Photograph by Tim Macmillan.

Preston discusses her experience taking noh lessons from a professional actor in Tokyo and recounts how noh pedagogy challenged her notions of “good” teaching and learning. Western pedagogies are typically obsessed with success or performance outcomes, innovation, and creating the illusion of a non-hierarchical classroom, but tradition and mimicry are central to noh pedagogy.

0.2 Furukawa Mitsuru

The author’s teacher, Furukawa Mitsuru-sensei, in the noh play Atsumori. From the author’s personal collection.

Clip 1 Hagoromo kiri, danced by Carrie J. Preston, vocals by David Crandall.

Clip 2 Omugaeshi “parrot repeat” method of learning noh utai or chant.